Harnessing elemental power, Summoners fought Gods above Enochian Tower. Taiyi Zhenren must travel to the Tower, and help Giemsa prevent the broken Tower from falling into the realm of Humans. Before he left, he taught Nezha to use the vessel of eight symbols, Eight-trigram Crucible. Created by the Celestial Deities, the Crucible possessed power to both purge and decoct; many in the Heavenly Kingdom, including Nezha’s lotus body, were created with it.
“Nezha, you will have to maintain your own body when we are not here. I will now teach you the Eight Trigram Combinations from the ‘Book of Ultimacy’. The sixty-four combinations respectively correspond to the positions of blazes in the Crucible...”
Looking at the eccentric symbols comprised of black lines, Nezha could not help but think: he would rather go mock the Celestial Divinity for being the Xian of Goldfish, instead of staying here and try to memorize the so-called Eight trigrams which looked almost the same.
“Taiyi Zhenren, excuse me, but why does it become so complicated when I have to use the vessel? You usually just wave your hand, and an elixir is created.”
“My relationship with the Eight-trigram Crucible is as close as one between father and son. That is why I can communicate with the vessel without utilizing trigrams to decoct medicines. Nezha, be warned: the Crucible’s flame is wild. One who does not have a clean and tranquil heart shall be consumed by the flame, and thus, for those individuals, only tragedies await.”
Nezha had originally intended to heed Taiyi Zhenren’s advice, and avoid using the vessel of eight symbols before he could ensure his heart was ready. However, his body suffered from deterioration after myriad battles — with the Courts of Zodiacs occupied by the war in Enochian Tower, elves and Demons had seized the chance to ravage the land. The Xian frequently descended the Heavenly Kingdom to subdue the rampageous creatures...Eventually, Nezha’s confidence won over his caution; he dived into the Eight-trigram Crucible and touched the blaze with his heart. Power flowed into him like usual, and healed his body. But the Crucible’s consciousness appeared in his mind, and rushed inside his thoughts like an unruly child.
‘Why are you hurt? Why did you fight the monsters? Why —’
“I’ll answer them one by one, just let me —”
‘Why did you take Dipankara as your master? Why did you get caught —’
Nezha channeled pneuma towards his wounds as usual, but the Crucible’s consciousness incessantly asked him different questions, prompting pictures of past memories. It even triggered Nezha’s recollections when his father had abandoned him. Back then, his mother had been severely injured to protect Nezha, and hence left unconscious. Dragon King’s warriors were besieging them; Nezha’s father surprisingly admonished Nezha in front of the Dragon King, and had handed his own son over to the furious King.
‘Why did Li Jing abandon you?’
“Because he didn’t love me!”
The Eight-trigram Crucible stirred Nezha’s long-hidden memory — his hatred towards his own father, Li Jing. The haunting blaze gushed uncontrollably into Nezha; anger severed his rationality...When Dipankara returned with the other Xian, the deranged Nezha had already reduced half the palace to dust. The Xian hurriedly approached to stop Nezha, while one of them suggested to Dipankara:
“Master! Nezha is immensely powerful; confronting him, therefore, is unwise. I suggest we first exile him to the realm of Humans...”
“No! Hostility abounds in the realm. Leaving him there will only increase his aggression. That is no different than abandoning him!”
Because of the ascetic pneuma in the Heavenly Kingdom, Nezha’s true self still remained in his body. Witnessing his own body attacking his companions, he could not help but wish for them to give up. Finally, Nezha could understand his father’s intentions in the past; Li Jing was worried if Nezha could someday endanger his family. Hence, to protect his family, he had deemed his own son an enemy. But now, everything had changed; Nezha had a master willing to accept and embrace his every flaw.
Deranged, Nezha lashed down his claw and broke an ascetic’s sword, while his other hand chopped down towards Dipankara. Dipankara halted Nezha’s attack with all four hands, and channeled his warm fire into Nezha’s body, calming the Eight-trigram Crucible’s rampaging blaze. In Dipankara’s embrace of fire, both Nezha’s mind and body gradually calmed.
“Oh, the aggressive boy is apologizing, huh? Hmm...Perhaps our effort to bring your mind back is worth it.”
Nezha’s consciousness faded in the Xian’s laughter.
‘Master, in the days when you were with me, I have learnt the value of “future”. It is you who has led me out of the vicious cycle of self-pity. Thank you...’